Big Top Carnival

Weakest Carouselink

You can become a contestant in the Big Top's interactive game show, The Weakest Carouselink! Enter the solution phrase CHOOSE ME to request a reservation for the next show.

Teams made appointments to send two players to ride around in circles on hobby horses while playing an interactive game show vaguely similar to The Weakest Link. We tried to accommodate up to four teams (and therefore eight players) at a time whenever possible. In practice, teams reached this puzzle in dribs and drabs, and so we often had "ghost" riders.

The host, who affected an Anne Robinson-like demeanor, informed teams that they would receive a set of the questions at the end of the game, and that while it was useful to remember the answers, everything else the host said was just for fun. This included horse puns at the end of each round ("Who's about to get an unsaddling feeling?" "Who came in last in the Gallop poll?" "Whose knowledge only consists of shadow facts?" "Whose knowledge is as full of holes as the Canter set?" etc.) The host also prominently shuffled the deck of question cards to show that it did not matter which questions appeared in which rounds.

You can get a feel for the gameplay from these video clipclops

Unlike on the show, if a player answered a question incorrectly, the next player rode up to give it a try, and so on until someone got it right or everyone had gotten a chance, in which case the answer was announced. The host made a point of declaring a canonical answer whenever an acceptable alternate form was given (e.g., if a player answered VERIZON, the host would say "VERIZON WIRELESS is correct.")

One player was deterministically eliminated after each round based on their number of correct answers and their proximity to the starting player; "ghost" players were always eliminated first. (There was no voting phase as on the show.) This meant that the rounds had 8, 7, …, 2 players. There were always as many questions in each round as players.

The winner was mildly congratulated, but received no special benefit. Each team got a set of the questions and was told that they were in no particular order.